November Life and Finds

November is quite lovely where I live in Northern California. Leaves are turning and falling while a few roses and salvias continue to bloom. It is a joy to sit out on our little stoop and be warmed in the sun.

When I’m not relaxing outside, I’m busy doing store stuff. Adding lots of items in time for the holidays (know anybody that wants a 1950s “Surgical Nursing” book?!) and having fun finding a few “new” things for my store.

Last week I spotted this intriguing handmade two-handled pottery bowl in my neighborhood thrift store.


I flipped it over and saw it was signed “RP” and stamped “Picault, France.” BINGO. I was darn sure this was a good find and a quick in-store Google search confirmed it.


At home I spent a fun hour researching Picault. Turns out he is Robert Picault (born 1919, died 2000) who lived in Vallauris, France. He was a friend and neighbor of Pablo Picasso. Prominent in French pottery in the 1950s, Picault was fond of green and brown geometric motifs on white. My little mid-century item is a cafe au lait cup/bowl and similar ones have sold for over $40.

My slightly goofy find was a bit of English Wedgwood. I have a weakness for Jasperware and couldn’t resist buying this bell produced for the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial. Gotta love the profiles. It includes George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.


I don’t know who collects bells these days though there is an American Bell Association. I’m guessing this is a fairly niche market!

And the other day a friend gifted me several items from her family’s estate, including this amazing vintage German harmonica, an M. Hohner Chromonika III, in it’s original case. This is one serious harmonica.


Hoping to find a good home for this. 🙂

And here’s a bit of funny business, also from my friend. This pendant is actually a fake of a fake! Here’s the story. In 1883 this nickel was produced with a V on the back to signify five cents. But without the word cents, a few crooks had the idea to gold-plate the nickels, add a reeded edge and pass them off as $5 gold pieces. These fake gold pieces became known as racketeer nickels. Decades later when racketeer nickels themselves become collector’s items, folks began creating “new” racketeer nickels. (Typically real ones would have worn gold plating and have the hand-reeded edge.) This is a newer one…or a fake of a fake. Not worth anything, but kinda interesting historically.

I’ll close for now hoping your November is going well.

As always happy hunting,


P.S. In the mood to shop? I have clothes, accessories and decor on sale at Lion & Lamb Vintage.


  1. Lisa

    Isn’t that Thomas Jefferson?


  2. You could be right! I think George Washington is on the other side. 🙂 – Karen


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